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"Won't recognized political parties even ask for answers...": Digvijay raises fresh concerns over functioning of EVMs

New Delhi: Not known to pull his punches against the Centre, senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Digvijay Singh, on Sunday raised fresh concerns over the 'misuse' of Electronic Voting Machines.
Taking to his official handle on X, the senior Congress leader accused the Election Commission (EC) of turning a deaf ear to pleas from the Opposition over alleged electoral malpractice and restoration of the ballot system.
The Congress Rajya Sabha MP said the Opposition bloc -- INDIA -- has been seeking an appointment with top officials of the poll panel.
"But they are so busy that they don't even have time to meet the opposition," the former Madhya Pradesh CM posted on X.
"Political parties of INDIA bloc have been asking for an appointment with the Election Commission since August but they are so busy that they don't even have time to meet the opposition!! Will Honorable CJI take cognizance of this? ECI always says that the Supreme Court has given its decision on EVM. What Honorable CJI Sir? @ECISVEEP On your request, won't recognized political parties even ask for answers to their questions regarding EVM? Where is the justice?" Singh posted from his personal handle.


Meanwhile, on Sunday, senior Supreme Court advocate and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, Prashant Bhushan, raised similar concerns over holding elections through EVMs.
Bhushan posted from his official X handle, "University of Michigan Prof explains how Indian EVMs can easily be tampered with. They are not safe. They represent a great danger to our democracy. Most countries have discontinued the use of EVMs. Why is the EC not willing to show the hardware/software in these?"
Earlier this month, the INDIA partners, in their fourth meeting in the national capital, passed a resolution stating there were doubts about the integrity of the functioning of EVMs.
"INDIA parties reiterate that there are many doubts on the integrity of the functioning of the EVMs. These have been raised by many experts and professionals as well. There is widespread demand for a return to the ballot paper system," the resolution stated.
The Opposition bloc suggested that "instead of the VVPAT slip falling in the box, it should be handed over to the voter who shall then place it in a separate ballot box after having verified his or her choice. 100 per cent counting of VVPAT slips should then be done".
The poll panel, in August this year, updated the FAQs on the EVMs, covering 76 questions. The earlier version answered 39 questions.
Among the new questions answered on the FAQ page is whether the two EVM manufacturers -- Bharat Electronics Ltd and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd -- "share the confidential software programme with foreign chip manufacturers to copy it on to microcontrollers used in the EVMs".
In a reply to this question, the EC stated, "Microcontrollers are ported with firmware by BEL/ECIL inside their factories under high level of security and safeguards. Out of a 4 layered secure manufacturing process (SMF) the microcontrollers are ported in the L3 area where only designated engineers are authorised access through access cards and biometric scans."
"No external agency either indigenous or foreign is involved in loading the firmware programme in microcontrollers," the poll panel added.
In its revised FAQs, the EC stated that the EVMs are "robust and implement technologies and processes which are different and incomparable".
"Hon'ble Supreme Court of India and various High Courts have time and again scrutinised the machines and have reposed their confidence and faith in ECI EVMs," it added.

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